The Effect of Communication on Consumer Behavior
Most consumers are bombarded with communication throughout their day, whether from a radio or non-stop billboards along Interstate highways. Even performing Internet searches for work or school doesn’t insulate them from paid communication. This consistent exposure creates awareness, even if it’s not conscious. As a business owner, you should be aware of the effect name recognition and consistent, repetitious communication can have on consumers and how to make the most of your communication opportunities.
As a business owner, an important first step to communicating to your consumers and eliciting the desired effect is to understand them. If your business caters primarily to women, think about designing your communication messages to appeal on an emotional level, rather than on a logical one. On the other hand, appealing to practicality rather than values may be more effective for male customers. Audience research is an important component of communication; the more your audience perceives you and your business to be like them, the more effective your communication will be.
Credibility is one of the foundations of persuasion. In business communication, it is one of the reasons why public relations, such as newspaper stories, is perceived to be more effective than advertising: consumers tend to construe unpaid publicity as more objective and thus more credible than paid publicity. The more credible you are perceived to be, the more likely your communication will have the desired effect on consumers. Representing your products accurately and building a good reputation is one way to impact credibility. Another is to get endorsements for your products from other consumers or high-profile individuals.
Tailoring your communication to a consumer’s needs is a strategy to realizing the desired effect. For example, by engaging in a conversation with someone who walks into your business, you can determine if your product or service can fulfill a need they have, or if you can sell them an additional product. You can also design your business communications such as advertising based on solving a problem – for example, a pest control company can visually and verbally demonstrate how termites can lead to thousands of dollars of damage, as well as compromise the structural safety of a home or business..
Digital communication has taken on a new importance in consumers’ lives. As a business owner, you need to realize there are other ways to have a digital presence and communicate with consumers other than advertising. Developing content for your website and online publications can increase your search engine visibility so that your business or products appear frequently in online searches. Research has shown that repeated exposure of brands on the Internet can increase name recognition and awareness, as well as top purchase considerations.